Arena Grand Prix: Gophers keep up with the competition in day two


Friday’s preliminary swims began with the hosting Golden Gophers taking six of the top 10 finishes in the 200 yard butterfly. As in the 100 distance yesterday, Kyler Van Swol led the way, finishing second in a time of 1:46.11. This time is an improvement from his finals time in the Grand Prix last year. Nicklaus Orf, just behind in third placed clocked a time of 1:46.47. Benjamin Bravence (fifth, 1:47.84), Brandon Hatanaka (sixth, 1:49.02), Luke Bushman (ninth, 1:49.78) and Jason Hartbarger (1:49.82) rounded out the top 10.

Likely the best team showing occurred when Minnesota took the top spot in the 800 yard freestyle relay in a time of 6:33.66, nearly two seconds faster than second place Purdue. The Maroon and Gold also had a second team in this event who finished fourth (6:42.39).

Senior Derek Toomey continued to excel in his best event: 50 yard freestyle clocking a fourth place time of 19.61, just two-fifths of a second off the lead and a better time than he swam in the same event in this series last year. In the finals, Toomey held firm in fourth place clocking a time of 19.68. In the distance freestyle preliminary, CJ Smith finished 9th in the 500 (4:25.65). While the junior slipped two spots to finish 11th in the finals, he improved his time (4:24.38).

Also strong for the Gophers, Daryl Turner swam a season best in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 47.71, fast enough for a third place finish in the preliminary swims. Turner, a three time Big ten freshman of the week just beat this time in the finals, touching the wall at 47.63.

In the finals of the 200 yard butterfly Friday evening, Van Swol held his second place finish improving his time to 1:45.42. Fellow Gophers Bushman (1:46.94) and Hartbarger (1:48.78) also swam faster times in the finals.

Perhaps the evening’s biggest surprise was the turnaround in the 800 freestyle relay. Here, Purdue proved too much for Minnesota, claiming the top spot with a time of 6:34.96. The Golden Gopher team who swam faster than the aforementioned winning time in the preliminary event, finished second. They clocked a time of 6:36.73.

The Grand Prix wraps up Saturday at the University Aquatic Center.

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